NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week's Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: John 9:1-41

Discussion Questions: How do we respond to a person we have known all our lives who suddenly changes his or her behavior in a positive way? How easy is it to explain away the change we see in a person?

Food for Thought:

Ben (not his name) was a convicted felon. He was released from jail but was required to wear a monitor as part of his parole agreement. He ended up attending a local church but his parole officer had reservations. One can understand why; the parole officer had heard and seen it all. In time, Ben committed his life to Christ, making the parole officer even more skeptical. The parole officer knew there had to be another explanation for what was going on in Ben's life.

In John 9, we find a man born blind who was healed by Jesus. As word got out, a great deal of discussion took place as to what had happened. They even went so far as to declare that the man now standing in front of them was a look-a-like of the man born blind (see John 9:8-9). They looked for all kinds of alternate explanations as to how this man could now see. He told them how he received his sight, which seemed to just make some more determined to discredit the change.

Christ is in the business of changing people who are willing to become His followers. We all know people who need His kind of change. We probably know people who have experienced His kind of change who need acceptance and encouragement. Do we really believe Jesus has the power to change a person? Do we really believe He can take a felon with a monitor and make him clean again? We can try to explain it away, discredit the change, or get in line to be changed ourselves.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in eight years. The eight-year plan and more information can be found on the Internet at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

Dwayne McCrary is the adult Project Team Leader for Explore the Bible and can be followed on twitter @gdwayne.

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